OVERVIEW OF PROCESS
The first step in the design and build process is for us to meet, - this can be done at our office, over the phone, or virtually. The complimentary meeting allows us to meet each other and discuss the project, we will go over our overall process, design ideas, project scope, your budget, and your property (if you have already acquired).
Some of our clients contact us with a very specific project scope in mind. Other clients contact us with some ideas about what the project scope could be, but need professional input to determine feasibility. If you have not decided on an exact scope when you contact us, we can provide input to help you determine what the scope of the project could be. We also discuss your desired level of finishes at this time. At this point, moving forward we would be entering into the Design Contract.
Based on your desired project scope, ALC creates a suggested budget for the Design and Construction of your project. The suggested budget is a cost range that represents what we think will be a comfortable budget for the project, given the project scope and your desired level of finishes. The project scope and budget may be revised multiple times at this stage, to ensure that the scope will meet your needs and that it can be built within your budget.
Finalize Scope and Cost Range
After you review our suggested budget, you have the opportunity to add or subtract scopes to suit your needs. We also go over the project scope in greater detail at this time to ensure that all desired scope items are included in the final scope. At this point we would enter into the Cost Plus Build Contract.
What is a Cost Plus Contract?
A cost plus a percentage contract is an arrangement where the customer is charged the actual costs of the house plus a percentage which is added on top of that as a builder fee.
Advantages of a cost plus contract: There is more transparency for the cost to build your home, decisions can be made during the build process and with a team approach, and changes are less costly. This also eliminates the temptation for the builder to cut corners and the customer is not paying for the builder to take on the risk of cost overruns if there aren’t any.
The first phase of design documents (drawings) for your project is Schematic Design. During schematic design, we create study drawings that illustrate the concepts of the design, including spatial relationships, scale, and form. Zoning/Planning requirements and other jurisdictional restrictions are also researched and addressed during this phase of the project. At the completion of the Schematic Design phase, the basic floor plans and elevations have been determined.
The second phase of the project design process, Design Development, takes the Schematic Design and resolves it further. The design development documents include door and window sizes and locations, some material selections, floor plans, elevations, sections, and full dimensions. At the completion of the Design Development phase, floor plans, elevations, and sections have been finalized.
The final phase of design drawings is the creation of Construction Documents. Construction Documents add an increased level of detail to the documents created during the Design Development phase. The Construction Documents include all information required by the building department to obtain permits and all the information necessary to for our construction crews to build the project. At the completion of the Construction Document Phase, the design documents are done.
If the project requires Engineering, the engineering documents will be created during in conjunction with the Construction Document phase. The engineering documents are then added to the Construction Documents.
Construction and Engineering Documents are submitted along with an application and application fee to obtain building permits. For projects that require substantial structural work, such as an addition, the building permit application may take up to several weeks to process before being granted.
ALC maintains close working relationships and lasting history with our subcontractors. Our subcontractors have been carefully selected throughout the years and are proud to have them as part of our team.
Order of Construction
In general you can expect your project to follow this order of construction: Staging/site prep > demolition and debris disposal > excavation > concrete > framing > utility rough in (plumbing, electrical, mechanical) > roofing > windows and doors > siding > insulation > drywall > finishes, fixtures, trim > paint > punch list and final completion. The required tasks and order can vary depending on project scope.
Building inspections vary depending on the nature of the project, but generally, inspections are required at the end of each of the following tasks: reinforcing steel (rebar in concrete) > rough plumbing > rough electrical > rough mechanical > framing > insulation > drywall > final plumbing > final electrical > final mechanical > final building. Each inspection must be passed before moving on to the subsequent task. We do our best to schedule inspections to minimize down time, but occasionally there will be a small amount of down time if there is a long wait for inspections or if an inspector requests a modification or clarifying design information.
Substantial Completion Walk Through
After the final building inspection is passed, a substantial completion walk-through is held and you and ALC identify and create a punch list of items that need further attention.
After ALC has completed or resolved all items on the punch list, we have reached project final completion and our final invoice will be submitted. When we receive payment for the final invoice, the project will be documented as complete.